Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear embark on their latest adventure in this novella set in the world of Craig Johnson’s New York Times bestselling Longmire series—the basis for the hit drama Longmire, now on Netflix
Craig Johnson's new novel, The Western Star, will be available from Viking in Fall 2017.
When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man's-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving “officer needs assistance” calls. The problem? They're coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago. With an investigation that spans this world and the next, Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear take on a case that pits them against a legend: The Highwayman.
Wyoming's scenic Wind River Canyon provides the setting for this atmospheric Walt Longmire novella, an update, according to Johnson (The Spirit of Steamboat) in the acknowledgments, of a Charles Dickens ghost story, "The Signal-Man." For three months, Rosey Wayman, a Highway Patrol officer, has been on duty in the canyon, and on some nights, she receives a distress call on her radio: "officer needing assistance." Rosey, who's due for a psychiatric evaluation, thinks the call is from Bobby Womack a patrolman who perished nearly 50 years earlier while trying to stop a runaway fuel tanker in a canyon tunnel. Longmire, the sheriff of Absaroka County, and his sidekick, Henry Standing Bear, assume there has to be a natural explanation, but in their search for the truth they learn some surprising things about Bobby and the long-ago theft of a cache of Morgan silver dollars. You don't have to be a fan of Longmire, the hit Netflix series, to appreciate this clever tale. 10-city author tour.
I'm a big fan of Craig Johnson's work. His ability to paint a picture of the Wyoming countryside and build a compelling mystery is the essence of great writing. The Longmire novels are each unique to themselves, but the Highwayman is a welcome departure from the usual murder and mayhem. Can't wait for the next one!
This was a pretty good read, but it dragged along to conclusion. I didn’t feel it was up to the pace and intensity of many of the Longmire books.
I was a little disappointed in the cruiser clock gaffe: at the start of Ch8 Walt says the trooper's clock was an hour slow, when it was actually an hour ahead of the actual time (clock says 12:34am, but it was really only 11:34pm). Of course, both he and Henry had just nearly frozen to death in the Wind River while rescuing Rose, so I eventually decided to cut them some slack. Too bad we also didn't get at least 100 pages of Vic Moretti, Ruby and Katie Longmire keeping the good citizens of Durant safe in Walt and Henry's absence.